East Renfrewshire is about to become a bit more crowded...with experts predicting a rise in population over the next decade.

Latest figures from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) suggest that, by 2026, there will be 93,041 living in the area – almost 1,500 more than at present.

The NRS statistics indicate a continuing upward trend since 2012, when East Renfrewshire’s population was 91,030.

The increase is down to population rises in wards 1 and 2 of the council area, but, in contrast, the Levern ward will see a fall.

In line with Scotland as a whole, the area is also forecast to experience a gradual ageing of its population.

People aged 90 and over currently number 1,026 in East Renfrewshire but this is expected to more than double to 2,599 in the next 20 years, with women accounting for the majority at 1,707.

And a warning has been issued that, as more people live longer, public services such as health will come under increasing pressure.

Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour’s spokesperson for public services and wealth creation, said the figures highlight the need to look at how public services are funded.

She added: “It is clear from these figures that we need to have a frank and honest debate about increasing taxation in order to protect our public services.

“Labour has been clear and consistent that we believe in a progressive tax plan that asks people to pay a little bit more so that we can put an end to austerity.”

Tim Ellis, the Registrar General of Scotland, said the latest population projections show the country’s population is projected to continue to increase and to age over the next quarter of a century.

He added: “The rise in population is driven by projected migration into Scotland, both from the rest of the UK and from overseas, while the number of deaths is projected to exceed the number of births every year.

“Over the period, we also expect to see the number of people of pensionable age increase by 25 per cent, while the number of people of working age will increase by one per cent and the number of children will decrease by two per cent.”

External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop said the figures illustrate the “critical importance” of maintaining inward migration, including maintaining the existing freedom of movement with European neighbours, to help increase the population and grow the economy.

She continued: “As our population ages, the continued availability of labour from across Europe is essential to meet our economic and social needs and to address potential skills shortages in all sectors of the labour market.”